This week’s prospects include Lucas Johansen of the Kelowna Rockets, Logan Stanley of the Windsor Spitfires & Otto Somppi of the Halifax Mooseheads.
Lucas Johansen – Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Born: November 16, 1997 – Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada
Weight: 180 lbs.
Johansen is the next best young defenceman to be pumped out of the Kelowna D-man factory. A steady puck mover who will play both on the power play and penalty kill with a great shot from the point. He knows when to pinch and get involved in the offensive rush. He only has a hint of physical play in his blood but just like older brother and Nashville Predators forward Ryan, leaves the rough stuff to the rest of the team. Has good size and clears his net well.
Grade: A good skater who is counted on for many minutes on a young, inexperienced Kelowna blue line, which is unusual for the Rockets. B+
Logan Stanley – Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Born: May 26, 1998 – Waterloo, Ontario Canada
Weight: 220 lbs.
The tall, gangly defenseman has turned many more heads since the beginning of the season. A really good skater for a kid his size and uses it to his advantage in odd man rushes as well as one-on-one. Huge wingspan enables him to clear his net effectively and win the puck battles in the corners. Will not put up huge offensive numbers and doesn’t play special teams but provides intimidation for any forward who crosses his path. A shutdown minutes-eater who is a defense-first type of defenceman.
Grade: A real bruiser on the blue line who has gained more confidence in his game as the season has progressed. Could sneak his way into first round discussion. A-
Otto Somppi – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Born: January 12, 1998 – Helsinki, Finland
Weight: 180 lbs.
Has adjusted very well to the North American style of play despite a shoulder injury sidelining him in November. A very high-tempo offensive threat who will create turnovers with his aggressive forecheck and turn them into legit scoring opportunities. Head always on a swivel looking for the best play to set up. Good hands around the net with a quick release. Quick in pursuit of the puck and is not afraid to backcheck and take care in his own end. At times, he may try to do too much himself.
Grade: A good two-way forward who plays the entire game in an aggressive manner and doesn’t let up until the final whistle. B+
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